Exhibition

Martín Ramírez: His Life in Pictures, Another Interpretation

9 Sep 2017 – 31 Dec 2017

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ICA LA will examine the work of acclaimed outsider artist, Mexican-born immigrant Martín Ramírez, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia in the 1930s and confined to California state hospitals most of his adult life.

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ICA LA will examine the work of acclaimed outsider artist, Mexican-born immigrant Martín Ramírez, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia in the 1930s and confined to California state hospitals most of his adult life. During the three decades he spent institutionalized, Ramírez produced a monumental body of work consisting of intricate drawings and collages whose linear rhythm and spatial tension have been compared to the techniques of Wassily Kandinsky, Frank Stella, and Sol LeWitt. His subject matter included horses and riders, Madonnas, saints, trains, and tunnels. This first presentation of Ramírez's work in Southern California will focus on the artist’s iconography and mark-making, his formal connections to mainstream modern art, and the significance of his cultural identity as a Mexican-American. It will also present, for the first time, a 17-foot scroll that comprises a glossary of the artist’s singular imagery and a complete visual narrative of his journey from Mexico to California in the 1920s. Recent examinations of Ramírez’s psychiatric evaluations have called his diagnosis into question, allowing an opportunity to recontextualize his life and work and navigate the unsettled territory between outsider and mainstream art.

Exhibiting artists

Martín Ramírez

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